Wednesday 13 June 2018

Book Review: A Superior Spectre by Angela Meyer

Title: A Superior Spectre
Angela Meyer
Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 1 August 2018
eBook - PDF
Literary Fiction / Sci-Fi
ARC via NetGalley


Jeff is dying. Haunted by memories and grappling with the shame of his desires, he runs away to remote Scotland with a piece of experimental tech that allows him to enter the mind of someone in the past. Instructed to only use it three times, Jeff – self-indulgent, isolated and deteriorating – ignores this advice.

In the late 1860s, Leonora lives a contented life in the Scottish Highlands, surrounded by nature, her hands and mind kept busy. Contemplating her future and the social conventions that bind her, a secret romantic friendship with the local laird is interrupted when her father sends her to stay with her aunt in Edinburgh – an intimidating, sooty city; the place where her mother perished.

But Leonora’s ability to embrace her new life is shadowed by a dark presence that begins to lurk behind her eyes, and strange visions that bear no resemblance to anything she has ever seen or known…

A Superior Spectre is a highly accomplished debut novel about our capacity for curiosity, and our dangerous entitlement to it, and reminds us the scariest ghosts aren’t those that go bump in the night, but those that are born and create a place for themselves in the human soul.

A Superior Spectre captivated me right from the first page. It is a fascinating study of human nature and what makes up our sense of self. It also considers personal responsibility when our actions impact on the lives of others. This was a real page-turner that kept me on the edge of my seat, wanting to know what would happen next and how things would work out. Although there is a sci-fi element to the tale, this work sits firmly on the literary fiction shelf. It offers both an exciting, interesting plot and a deep, thought-provoking premise. I would recommend it to readers looking for a read that poses questions while also entertaining. I would definitely read more from Meyer in the future as her prose still was simple yet engaging, her pacing excellent, and her characters beautifully formed.

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